he Plymouth Renaissance Festival was one of the large Renaissance Fairs in Erehwon. Located in the district of Ashen the fair covered a area of roughly four hundred acres. The fair by local tradition and its founding charter always opened the weekend of Victoria Day and always closed by Labor Day.
The air was filled with the sounds and smells of a open air market. Vendors selling handcrafted goods stood by their stales and shouted at the top of there lungs at the people who passed them by. With polished oratory skills, they hawked and peddled there goods as people passed by there booths. The ringing and booming of hammers could be heard coming nearby Blacksmith's shop, from the row of food booths, the strong smell of garlic, black pepper, dill and the drippings from the roasting meats could be smelled.
James now dressed as Jane took a deep breath as she made her way down the wide, flagstone paved road that connected front gate with the main square, Plymouth Renaissance Festival was starting to remind her of the somewhat classic Legend of Zelda location of 'Hyrule Market' with its flagstone paved main walkways, its cobblestone paved back streets, the large fountain in the middle of the square flanked by building that had been built to mimic those built in Tudor England. Tall mullioned windows, high brick chimneys, jetted first floors above pillared porches with dormer windows, supported by consoles and the cherry on the verbal sundae many of the the building either had thatched roofs or roofs made of black slated. That look really rounded out many of the building and structures.
The sight of those building, plus the strong smell of horse manure, the bedlam of noises, the hawking of goods, really made Jane feel like she stepped back in time. She was no longer in the year two thousand and nineteen. But by her best guess, she seemed to have stepped back into the year sixteen hundred and twenty four maybe?
"You're looking cute." A voice behind her said. The voice belonged to Dawn, who was dressed in a simple gown made of light cotton, simple leather slipped her feed from much of the muck and mire. Her long blonde hair was styled back in a nice, neat braid that was slung over her shoulder. A blue velvet drawstring purse hung around her wrist.
Jane blushed as she looked down at the outfit her two older sisters Katherine and Susan had picked out for her. The outfit was an simple, cotton dress that barely covered her kneecaps. The dress was also two-toned with the colors red and black blending in together. A diamond pattern covered the dress with some of the jewels being black and some of them being red. The dress was also form fitting and hugged her hourglass figure like a glove, it even gave her the false appearance of a budding chest. Long, white, woolen stocking provided a bit of modesty and a small degree of comfort. The slippers that covered her feet were likewise in the same pattern of red and and black mixed together. All in all, it was the classic court jester look, minus only the matching cap. Instead, her hair had been parted down the middle and styled in two fashionable pigtails.
"Thank you." Jane said finally as she felt her cheek bones flush with color, "Your looking cute too." Dawn was wearing the standard village women dress.
"So, like, we have just under thirty minutes or so before your show. Want to get a snack or something?" Dawn asked as she reached down and took Jane's hand into her own. She smiled as she peered down at the girl who less than a month ago had been a shy little boy. That shy little bow had now come her little sister.
Dawn had spent Jane's birthday week in St. Philomena Children's Hospital. The hospital was one of the major pediatric hospitals in the region. She had been infected with a nasty case of influenza B. One of the most common types of flu strains and one children and teens are the most susceptible to. Her case had been touch and go and more than once she swore she saw the fable 'Ghost Nurse' that suppose to dwell there. Anyway it was only two days after her released did she get the news that the sly little boy she had known as "James" had taken to calling himself "Jane" and skipping around the house dressed as a girl and oddly enough nobody seemed bothered by it.
The news still bothered her a little. Dawn had been born and raised in the largely French and predominantly Roman Catholic part of Erehwon. Before she came to the forest household at the age of eleven she had been mostly raised by a Roman Catholic order of nuns called 'The Sisters of Charity and Mercy'. Part of her upbringing among the sisters meant that been given a classic Catholic education. Beside the fundamentals of Math, Spelling, English, History and Science, she had also been schooled in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and on the side she had received a thorough grounding in the doctrine and canon of the Roman Catholic Church, she had also been confirmed and received her first communion there.
As such, she had been taught from the crib to view people like Jane has been having afflicted with some kind of mental illness. After all, there where only two genders right? That what scripture said anyway. Bringing her lips together, she started to think. She was even correct in considering Jane to be her little sister? She was still a boy for the most part.
"Hey, Dawn?" Jane said as she peered up at her.
"Sup?" dawn said as she peered down at Jane, she was a good taller than the girl.
Jane peered up and looked into Dawn eyes, both their eyes meet for a solid thirty seconds. The two orbs of blue connected, after a long minute that seemed to last forever it was Jane who finally broke the silence.
"You okay? You kind of went silent. Is something the matter?" Jane was somewhat aware that there were some older teens in the house that had been put off by her becoming Jane, none of them had been openly hostile toward her, but there had been a few that had given her a cold shoulder. That cold shoulder extended to wither she was being Jane or James, a few had even outright sent her to Coventry. Of course, that had only been a few of them and Jane had refused to let a few rotten apples ruin the whole barrel for her.
"Oh, its nothing sis. I was just thinking." Dawns aid as she lifted her arm up and wrapped it around Jane's slender shoulder as she guided toward the food booths. The signboard above one read "St. George's Tavern" the script was in old English of course. In front of the counter one could find around a dozen wooden picnic tables. Standing behind counter and tending a oddly modern cash register was a women a women who was also dressed in period dress. Taking the orders and hanging them off to a man and another teen in the back was another women, she appeared to be around the same age as Dawn.
In the back one could see classical fair dishes being prepared. Fried fillets of locally caught or raised fish, plumb polish sausages, hot dogs and cheap cuts of stead that had been heavily marinaded were being grilled over charcoal fires. The pungent smell of fat dripping into the hot, gray coals below filled the air around. Along with the savory smell of garlic, pepper, salt and dill each adding there own special flavors and smells.
Dawn paused and peered down at Jane. She closed her eyes for a minute and took a deep breath, how could she hate somebody like Jane. Jane was such a sweet girl, like James had been a sweet boy. She closed her eyes as she started to remember that James had been among the only handful of boys that visited with a few of her sisters while she been confined in the hospital. He had visited her a day or so before his birthday, the birthday happen to be the day Jane was reveled to the world. She remembered that or should she say she, had even gone out and brought here a ice cold Coke-Cola and a small bag of her favorite chips from the snack vending machines in the hallway. And while that might not seem like a big deal. When you where confined to bed in a hospital, small things like a Coke and a bag of your favorite chips meant so much more. Yes, how could she even consider somebody like that suffering from a mental illness? It was like two parts of her were trying to fuse together o r at least come to terms. The side that been born in her first eleven years of her life by the Catholic nuns and the one that had been born when she came into the Forest House.
"Nothing much." She said at last. She smiled and pulled the girl into a one arm hug. "I was just thinking that I'm like really blessed to have such a cool little sister, such as yourself." She said with a smile that reached from one ear to the other. And there was a grain of truth to statement. Despite what others might say, she knew for fact that Jane or James had a heart of pure gold, after all, she had volunteered to have pudding and cream pies thrown at that pretty face for thirty minutes to support St. Philomena Children's Hospital. And that said a lot about her character right there.
Jane returned Dawns smile with one of her own as the two walked toward the food booth. She was not aware of the mental storm brewing inside Dawn's head. She only knew that Dawn was a pretty cool big sister, who was buying a snack and considering how much a penny pinching dawn was, and how expensive food at these type of fairs was, that said a lot.
Dawn smiled even larger as she watched the smile grown on Jane's face. No matter if she personally approved of Jane's decision, no matter what some priest or minster said, the girl or boy was still family and even if they were all foster children, they were still family and blood was thicker than water. Plus it was her time honored and testy duty to give her little sister at least one snack and one full size meal the the fair. Feeding the younger ones and buying them trinkets had always been the duty of the older brothers and sisters. Also there was something special about sitting down and sharing a meal with somebody. It was like going to Mass with somebody, it just bonded you in a way. And maybe, sharing a few meals with her new little sister would help her bridge that gap a little.